A play born of an uncanny chance meeting recovers from history a silenced female voice.
On the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Solas gives voice to the author’s daughter Lucia – a talented yet troubled young woman deliberately silenced by her family to secure her father’s reputation. Created by Diane Stubbings (writer) and Lynda Fleming (director), Solas was born of an uncanny chance meeting between the pair at the Victorian College of the Arts, while both women were separately working on plays about Lucia Joyce. Joining forces, the pair researched and crafted Solas – a play that, while fictional, seeks to honour Lucia’s story, recover her voice and vision, and recognise her sacrifices.
Set in Ireland in the 1930s, Solas surveys a period in Lucia Joyce’s life immediately prior to her incarceration in a series of mental asylums where she would spend the last fifty years of her life. Having physically threatened her mother, the play sees Lucia (played by Tenieille Thompson) sent to live with her cousin (played by Mariska Murphy) in Bray. While there, Lucia goes missing, wandering through Dublin for several days, undertaking her own strange odyssey through the city her father immortalised in Ulysses.
The play aims to confront and rectify the calculated efforts to suppress Lucia who, in both life and death, was robbed of her identity: her letters and writings destroyed and her legacy stage-managed to the point of silence by the Joyce estate. Precociously creative in her own right, the play also aims to interrogate the label of ‘schizophrenic’ that has been applied to her, asking whether – with her dance career curtailed and her own literary ambitions stifled – ‘madness’ was the only performance available to Lucia.
A sparingly staged two-woman show, Solas is a powerful exploration of the silencing and control of unconventional women, history’s notions of female ‘madness’ and the burden of life in the shadow of a famous man.
Hurry! Running until March 6
Wed 6.30pm, Thu, Fri, Sat 7.30pm
La Mama HQ
205 Faraday St, Carlton VIC
Approx. 80 minutes
TICKETS $30 Adult | $20 Concession
BOOKINGS 03 9347 6948 or www.lamama.com.au